A couple of years ago a new road was built up to a small village on the banks of the Rio Piatua--a tributary of the Anzu River. This road opened up boating access to the Piatua River, which is a wonderful new addition to Tena's repertoire of runs. Here's the beta:
Time 3.5 hours
Gradient 110 fpm
Character Technical river run
Fiesta Factor 4 Beers
Degree of suffering 3 Skulls Long drive to put in
Medium flow 1000 cfs
Shuttle Truck taxi to put in, bus home is possible
The Piatua is a user friendly, warm, clear water river full of round boulders set in a beautiful rainforest environment. The river is a fun mix of lots of class III boulder gardens with the occasional more challenging drop. The advanced boater can probably boat scout everything, but less experienced paddlers will either want to hop out occasionally or follow someone who knows the lines. Although it is not a creek, most of the moves require creeking technique since boofs, slots, and pillow moves abound.
The best way to get to the put in is to hire a taxi since no buses run up the road that crosses the bridge at the take out for the Upper Anzu (see page 74 of the guidebook). The bridge across the Anzu is super low clearance so hop out and be sure your boats fit under the west end of the bridge structure. From Tena, head towards Puyo. Then, find the bridge over the Anzu that is the take-out for the Upper Anzu, cross the bridge and head up the dirt road for about 40 minutes or so. The drive to the put in is an hour and a half from Tena. The first half of the drive is on a great road but the last half is a pretty bad dirt road. When are you getting close to the village, you will start to see some little houses. Then, there is an obvious road cut that goes off to the left. Have your taxi park here. From this pull in walk about 5 meters down the road until a major "trail" (it almost looks like the start to another road) goes off to the right. Follow this down to a bridge across the Piatua. The easiest way down to the river is to cross the bridge and look for a trail on the upstream side of the bridge (so you are putting in on river left).
Not recommended put-in
It is possible to drive all the way to the small village and put in here. But, there is really no sense in doing this as it is such a short hike if you use the preferred put in (described above). The problem with this one is that the some of the village inhabitants expressed displeasure in kayakers changing and walking through their remote village. By using this put in, you not only miss a bit of fun whitewater, but you also run the risk of leaving a bad impression on the locals. We figure it's better to respect their wishes, and just use the put in before you actually get to their village.
Once you hit the Rio Anzu you should ferry almost straight across to a little beach just downstream of the overhead cable. Have your taxi meet you there or walk the two minutes to the road to catch a bus for the 40 minute ride to Tena. To find this take-out from the road it's easiest to drive to the bridge across the Anzu that you'll take to the put in. Then, from here, back track on the main road to Tena about 5 minutes and look for a small road going off to the left. This road is only about 100 meters long and takes you right to the river.
It's also possible to take out at Cabanas Piatua on river right just after a bridge with a rope swing. They may charge you a user fee to take out here, and your taxi will have to drive slightly further. The normal take-out is only about 10 minutes further downstream from Cabanas Piatua.